Despite SAE Reversal, Purcellville Pushes Forward With Returning Fireman’s Field Operations to County

Despite SAE Reversal, Purcellville Pushes Forward With Returning Fireman’s Field Operations to County

Despite on-again, off-again commitments from its contractor, the Town of Purcellville appears ready to move ahead in turning all operations of Fireman’s Field over to Loudoun County.

In a release issued late Friday, Town Manager David Mekarski gave notice that the Town Council has tentatively put an item on its agenda for Sept. 25, with the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors “considering placing this item on the agenda for their September 20th Board of Supervisors meeting for discussion and action.”

This action is the latest twist regarding the contract between the town and Shawn Alexander Enterprises for operation of Fireman’s Field, which also includes the operation of the the town’s Bush Tabernacle. On Aug. 17, SAE informed the town that it would no longer perform under its contract, effective Sept. 1.

Based on that notice, the town issued notice to SAE for breach of contract, began — under emergency procurement procedures — to seek informal short-term proposals to maintain operations of both the field and the tabernacle and began discussions with the county to return maintenance and operation of Fireman’s Field  back to the county under the conditions both parties had honored in the past.

The town hoped a short-term agreement would keep Bush Tabernacle operating while a long-term contract with a permanent concessionaire could be negotiated through the standard procurement process. Play to Win, the subcontractor that had been been handling operations of the tabernacle,  dissolved its relationship with SAE in July.

As the town was considering three proposals for continuing short-term operations, SAE reversed its position with a formal letter to the town rescinding its notice of termination.

At this point, the town’s release stated, the town stopped its “emergency procurement process and opened up negotiations with SAE to determine both its intent and its capacity to honor its long term contract. SAE pledged to continue its operations of the Bush Tabernacle and also agreed to expand both its days of service and hours of operation.

“SAE fully supports a necessary contractual amendment, recommended by the Town, to transfer all operations of Fireman’s Field to Loudoun County. In addition to this contract amendment, the Town understands that SAE is evaluating a number of subcontractors to replace the role formerly held by Play to Win who withdrew from the SAE partnership. The selection of a subcontractor is not in the purview of the Town, rather it is an independent unilateral decision of SAE as the prime contractor.”

Mekarski said in the statement he will provide an update to the town council at its Sept. 11 meeting.

Joseph Dill